September 26, 2009

Willye White Park Dedication Ceremony

Willye B. White Park
1610 West Howard


Willye B White Center


Pre-event entertainment was provided by The Sullivan High School Steel Drum Band led by their instructor at the keyboard – Mr. George Goetschel.

Sullivan High Steel Drum Band George Goetchel, Sullivan High Steel Drum Band

Mrs. Maggie Daley arrived and was escorted into the building by Gale Academy Color Guard with other guest dignitaries. Former Olympians who knew Willye also attended the event.

Maggie Daley's Arrival Gale Academy Color Guard
Gale Academy Color Guard


Speakers in Lobby: Tim Mitchell, Joe Moore, Diane Simpson-Bundy, Bob Pickens,(tan shirt and hat) Eva McCann and of course, Mrs. Maggie Daley.

Tim Mitchell, Chicago Park District Joe Moore Diane Simpson-Bundy Eva McCann, WBW Park Council President

Mrs. Daley spoke if a young woman who won her first Olympic medal at the age of 16. Glancing at the mural in the lobby depicting the years White competed in Olympic events Daley noted what an inspiration she was to many through her years of service to youth in Chicago.

Maggie Daley Maggie Daley

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, the group moved into the gymnasium where Mr. Pickens, Vice President of the Board of Commissioners for the Chicago Park District, 1964 Olympic Wrestler, former Chicago Bear and today’s Master of Ceremonies, introduced friends of Willye White who shared their memories and experiences with the audience.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky spoke of Ms. White’s life and tireless work with inner city youth and introduced Karissa Nixon. Karissa, 16, of our neighborhood read a message from President Obama congratulating the community on having a facility named for a woman who inspired people of all ages worldwide.

One notable remark was from Secretary of State Jesse White on our youth graduating to a higher level of education than SU – Street University - which brought applause.

Cynthia Williams, White’s cousin, read some of Willye’s favorite inspirational quotes she often used with the youth she worked with.

Other notable guests and friends of White were introduced by both Mr. Pickens and Mr. White which included Bob Love, Chicago Bulls Director of Community Affairs and Warner Saunders retired NBC5 news co-anchor, and Mickey Norton who helped make this day very special.

The event concluded with an outdoor performance by the Jesse White Tumblers and abundant and delicious refreshments donated by Rogers Park Restaurants.

Pre-Event Photos

Jesse White, Secretary of State Warner Saunders and Neighbor Lorna Garbutt

Bob Love, Mickey Norton, Warner Saunders and Warner Saunders Jr.


Dan Hibbler, Chief Program Officer, Chicago Park District Michael Harrington and Dan Hibbler

The Jesse White Tumblers.

Jesse White Tumblers Jesse White Tumblers
Perfect Balance - Jesse White Tumblers

1 comment:

Michael J. Harrington said...

Great pix and coverage!